Spanish authorities removed around 100 passengers from a plane prior to it leaving the Canary Islands, following a large scuffle which broke out onboard, in February 2011.
The disruption started when low-cost Ryanair attempted to charge a passenger extra for an outsized carry-on baggage, causing his friends onboard the plane to ‘mutiny’.
Instead of taking off from the Guacimeta airport, Belgium, the pilot radioed for police assistance.
Out of the 168 passengers, only 64 were permitted to re-board the flight. The rest were forced to find other carriers and some had to spend the night at the Lanzarote island resort.
The passengers "became disruptive and refused to comply with crew instructions"
The statement continued "Following further disruptive behaviour, the police required for security reasons that this entire group be refused travel."
This is not the first time passengers have rioted in mid air.
In 2009 a group of football larrikins assaulted a passenger and threatened flight attendants on a flight between Stockholm and Bromma, on a Malmo Aviation plane. Five people were involved in a fight prior to take off and were removed, but the disturbance continued during the flight. Seven others were questioned by police on arrival at Stockholm’s Bromma airport.
Ultra-orthodox Jews tried to prevent a film from being shown on an El Al flight to Kiev in 2008. They began shouting and tried to physically stop the screens from unfolding. The Haredi men were en route to Uman, Ukraine, to visit the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman of Bratsla. They said that the airline had promised to not show any films during the flight.
Police waited in full riot gear in 2003, when Celtic football fans became violent on a return flight to Glasgow, from Spain. The trouble started when one fan smoked in the toilet of a Boeing 737, belonging to a UK charter airline, Astraeus. The pilot issued a mayday and made an emergency landing at Cardiff after a stewardess was assaulted. Six men were arrested and the remainder had to complete the last 500 miles by bus.
In 2002, a flight crew had to prevent an ultra-Orthodox Jewish passenger from totally wrapping himself in plastic bags while flying from Israel to Britain, on an El Al plane. The pilot was forced to return to Ben Gurion International airport so as to remove the passenger from the plane. The passenger, a Cohen, wrapped himself in plastic bags for fear that the plane's route would pass through the air above the Holon cemetery and he would become impure.
Holiday makers, returning from Cyprus, in 2001, began rioting after the pilot announced his decision to divert the Swedish Transjet plane, because he was running low on fuel.
All this goes to show that it is not only terrorists that have to be watched out for.
For more information about "The Riots In Aircraft", visit website http://www.tropicpost.com/
About the author
Dr Wendy Stenberg-Tendys and her husband are CEO's and founders of YouMe Support Foundation, providing high school education grants for children who are without hope. You can help in this really great project by taking a few minutes to check out the Sponsor a Student program at (http://youmesupport.org). It will change the life of some really needy kids in the South Pacific.
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